What is your current role, and your connection with WiFA?
I head the IPO Department of the HKEX and manage a team of about 80 staff. I also co-chair HKEX’s diversity and inclusion network. I first heard about WiFA from Anna Stephenson. Through my role as D&I co-chair, HKEX sponsored a WiFA panel last year on scoring a promotion and negotiating a raise.
Why and how do you support WIFA?
I think that there is a bias against women and sometimes, women themselves don’t even realize it. Earlier in my career, like many young women, I thought that the glass ceiling was a thing of the past. I really believed that working hard will give you the same opportunities for men since the obstacles to promotion aren’t always obvious.
It was only later in my career that I saw the disadvantages women were subjected to and that’s why it’s important that organizations like WiFA exist. It’s a place where young women can be mentored and all women can collectively push to correct systematic bias.
What accomplishment you are most proud of in shifting the gender diversity/ empowering women in achieving their full professional potentials?
My personal contribution that I’m most proud of is creating a nursing room for my Department. I joined HKEX when my daughter was about 1.5 years old so I was acutely aware of challenges a new mother face when returning to work. The majority of the Listing Division staff is women and I was surprised to learn that there was no nursing room. I brought this to the attention of HR immediately and we were able to convert a handicap bathroom on one of our floors to a nursing room complete with a mini fridge and an air purifier. No one knew about this handicap bathroom until we looked at the floor plans because the door was blocked a vending machine. After it was converted, we had to create a schedule to use it since there was so much demand!
Tell us one thing that is important for #CreatingTheWorkforceOfTheFuture
Being agile. As a manager, there is a temptation to say no to suggestions because it would be too difficult to implement in the existing framework/infrastructure. New ideas are opportunities to examine how the old system can be improved. For example, Covid-19 has forced us to work remotely and it’s proof that it can be done effectively.
What advice would you give to women who want to advance their career?
Be patient and be opportunistic. Life is never always fair so you have to find a way to succeed within your boundaries while pushing your boundaries at the same time.
Tell us one fun fact about you
I was snorkeling in Hawaii once when suddenly I was surrounded by a pod of dolphins swirling around me. It was magical.